Eric Ding jailed 3 years for bribing referees with prostitutes

Eric Ding jailed 3 years for bribing referees with prostitutes

SINGAPORE - Singaporean businessman Eric Ding Si Yang was sentenced to three years in jail on Thursday after being found guilty of bribing three Lebanese football referees with prostitutes to fix a match.

Ding, 32, was found guilty last month of the offence prior to an AFC Cup fixture between Singaporean side Tampines Rovers and East Bengal of India in April 2013.

Local media said Ding's defence counsel, Hamidul Haq, told the court his client planned to appeal both the conviction and the sentence.

Last year, FIFA referee Ali Sabbagh was sentenced to six months in a Singapore jail after admitting having sex with a woman hired by Ding.

Assistant referees Ali Eid and Abdallah Taleb were each sentenced to three months in prison. All three were replaced for the fixture.

FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) handed Sabbagh a lifetime ban from officiating and banned him from entering any stadium in the world after the conviction, while Eid and Taleb were given 10-year global suspensions.

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